Law firm as executore?

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LXEX55
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Law firm as executore?

Post by LXEX55 »

There exists a very real possibillity that my wife and I will not have any living relatives or friends to serve as the executore of the survivor's will. I understand that we can retain a law firm to act as the executor of the survivor's will. My question is, let's say I pass before my wife, leaving her the last remaining person in the family, who will notify the law firm of her passing so they can execute the will?
JPM
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by JPM »

Most people probably set up a trust arrangement with the trust receiving any legacy and have the trust company execute the provisions of the trust. Notification arrangements per the trust company's usual practice. I say this because a friend of mine had his wife's inheritance depleted by $2MM in legal fees which ate up almost 40% of the estate. It might have been worse but my friend engaged another attorney to pry control of the estate from the first attorney. This story gave me pause in regard to having an attorney as executor.
oldfort
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by oldfort »

No living relatives at all? Who would get your estate if you died without a will?
AB609
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by AB609 »

Be careful if you use a law firm. They may leave provisions as to there rates that are very open ended in the agreement. This happened to my father's estate and we had to threaten to take the law firm to court as they wanted to charge 10% of the estate value (multi-million dollar very liquid, simple estate).

You must have some plan for the estate. I would get the charities or whatever is getting the proceeds of the estate involved in the process now so that it doesn't become a grab bag for a law firm or trust company.
Lee_WSP
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by Lee_WSP »

The court can always appoint one if you don't name one. It's a state specific issue.
SouthernFIRE
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by SouthernFIRE »

Better a trust company or bank than a law firm.
7eight9
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by 7eight9 »

oldfort wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:23 am No living relatives at all? Who would get your estate if you died without a will?
It is going to be state specific.

In Nevada --- NRS 134.120  Escheat.  If the decedent leaves no surviving spouse or kindred, the estate escheats to the State for educational purposes.

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-134 ... S134Sec070
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oldfort
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by oldfort »

7eight9 wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:28 pm
oldfort wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:23 am No living relatives at all? Who would get your estate if you died without a will?
It is going to be state specific.

In Nevada --- NRS 134.120  Escheat.  If the decedent leaves no surviving spouse or kindred, the estate escheats to the State for educational purposes.

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-134 ... S134Sec070
What does it mean to have no kindred? I always assumed the government would keep going further out the family tree until they found some blood relative.
Swansea
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by Swansea »

I have my estate attorney as executor. A friend serves as my Health Care Agent.
A DAF receives the proceeds, and will be administered by two successors.
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celia
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by celia »

A law firm as executor sounds like the most expensive option. Do you know how much lawyers in your area make an hour?

Does the firm already do this for clients? If not, they will be ‘learning’ on the estate’s dime.
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bsteiner
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by bsteiner »

celia wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:35 pm A law firm as executor sounds like the most expensive option. Do you know how much lawyers in your area make an hour?

Does the firm already do this for clients? If not, they will be ‘learning’ on the estate’s dime.
In about half the states, there's a statutory schedule for executor's commissions (fees), based on the size of the estate. In the remaining states, executors get reasonable compensation, which means that if the executors and the beneficiaries can't agree, the court will decide.

Where a lawyer is serving as executor, and hires his/her own firm as attorney, the legal fees should be less than they would otherwise be, since there will be some efficiency.

That doesn't necessarily make a lawyer a good or bad choice as an executor. But sometimes there aren't any better choices, especially if the estate is too small for a bank or trust company.

A lawyer can't seek the appointment as executor, but may accept it.

In California, an attorney who's serving as executor can't pay legal fees out of the estate. So lawyers won't serve as executor as often in California as in other states.
Carefreeap
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by Carefreeap »

bsteiner wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:34 pm
celia wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:35 pm A law firm as executor sounds like the most expensive option. Do you know how much lawyers in your area make an hour?

Does the firm already do this for clients? If not, they will be ‘learning’ on the estate’s dime.
In about half the states, there's a statutory schedule for executor's commissions (fees), based on the size of the estate. In the remaining states, executors get reasonable compensation, which means that if the executors and the beneficiaries can't agree, the court will decide.

Where a lawyer is serving as executor, and hires his/her own firm as attorney, the legal fees should be less than they would otherwise be, since there will be some efficiency.

That doesn't necessarily make a lawyer a good or bad choice as an executor. But sometimes there aren't any better choices, especially if the estate is too small for a bank or trust company.

A lawyer can't seek the appointment as executor, but may accept it.

In California, an attorney who's serving as executor can't pay legal fees out of the estate. So lawyers won't serve as executor as often in California as in other states.
That's interesting. Our good friend of 40+ years is our successor Trustee. He's a business attorney and a founder of his law firm. It must really be an act of love. :wink: I do wonder whether we should be making some other arrangements. We're all about the same age 59-61 which is fine now from an odds perspective but his wife passed last year at age 61. It's going to be a different matter when we are hitting 80.
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bsteiner
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Re: Law firm as executore?

Post by bsteiner »

Carefreeap wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:16 pm
bsteiner wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:34 pm ...
In California, an attorney who's serving as executor can't pay legal fees out of the estate. So lawyers won't serve as executor as often in California as in other states.
That's interesting. Our good friend of 40+ years is our successor Trustee. He's a business attorney and a founder of his law firm. It must really be an act of love. :wink: I do wonder whether we should be making some other arrangements. We're all about the same age 59-61 which is fine now from an odds perspective but his wife passed last year at age 61. It's going to be a different matter when we are hitting 80.
I don't practice in California, but perhaps using a revocable trust gets around this restriction, in the same way that it allows lawyers to receive legal fees in excess of the statutory schedule for legal fees without having to get court approval.
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